Weekend: Hollywood Christmas Parade

Happy 86th anniversary to one of Tinseltown's most storied seasonal spectaculars.

Hollywood Christmas Parade: People who do not call Southern California home sometimes rib those of us who do over our often balmy fall, and whether we know when the yuletide season truly kicks off. Our answer? It will be almost always be semi-crisp here by very late November, thank you very much, and also? The holidays begin when Santa drives his sleigh down Hollywood Boulevard. The 86th outing of the gingerbread-joyful Tinseltown treat sparkles on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, as is tradition, with stars aplenty, a concert, convertibles, and revelers rocking non-wool sweaters. 

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Finding hot Butterbeer in your stocking? It might get a tad damp, so best make your merry way to Universal Studios Hollywood for a magical limited-time experience. Caroling frogs, as in amphibians perched nobly upon pillows, a wowza light show on the side of Hogwarts, complete with soundtrack-tastic tunes, and enchanting decorations are woven through the whimsy, as is, yes, hot Butterbeer. It begins on Nov. 24 and flies away, faster than the Golden Snitch, on Sunday, Jan. 7.

Festival of Lights: The Mission Inn in Riverside wasn't plucked from some misty hilltop from some thrilling novel set in ye olde Europe, but it can certainly look that way, and especially in the weeks following Thanksgiving when 5,000,000 million lights, as in bunches x oodles x so many, glimmer nightly all around the handsome hotel. The switch flip is on Friday, Nov. 24, and the bulbs are on after sundown each night through Saturday, Jan. 6. Also lovely? It's free to see. Also awesome? Kenny Loggins is set to perform.

Small Business Saturday: Hoping to cross a few names off your gift list after Thanksgiving? Consider calling upon your favorite corner store (though, no, it doesn't actually have to be on a corner) and supporting a neighborhood business. A few spots around Southern California will be holding sales, get-to-know-us snack spreads, and special events. One fun stop-by? The 7th Annual We Heart Eagle Rock Shop Small day, which will include tunes, face painting, and more. Saturday, Nov. 25 is the date.

20th Annual Three Stooges Big Screen Event: 'Tis the moment for traditions, even of the cinematic kind, and this Alex Theatre has now brought the nyuks, high jinks, and on-screen cream pies for two decades. There's a 2 p.m. event and one at 8, and the theme is "Crème de la Cream Pies." Know your vaudeville? Want to revisit the work of a top-notch group of laugh-bringers? Glendale is your destination on Saturday, Nov. 25.

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